The Day That Lasted 21 Years

(O dia que durou 21 anos)
Camilo Tavares | Documentary

2012 | 77 minutes | Brazil, United States

A look at how and why the United States supported a conspiracy to overthrow the Brazilian elected President Joao Goulart in 1964, when Ambassador Lincoln Gordon planned South America's longest military dictatorship with the support of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.


The Day that Lasted 21 Years reveals how and why the United States supported a conspiracy to overthrow the Brazilian elected President Joao Goulart in 1964.

Forty-five years later, Top Secret CIA and White House Telegrams reveal how United States Ambassador Lincoln Gordon acted behind the scenes to plan the longest military dictatorships of South America, which lasted until 1985, with the support of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

The documentary was written by journalist Flavio Tavares; an ex-political prisoner who was arrested during the military dictatorship and recovered his freedom in exchange for the life of United States Ambassador Charles Burke Elbrick.


"The film captivates and stimulates moral and ethical questions in the use of political and military power in international as well as domestic settings. Tavares superbly provides much fodder for group studies in sociology, political science, history and criminology. Perhaps this film may enlighten debate about this type of activity in the developing role of global terrorism that our society now finds itself confronting daily." — Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology, Human Services, & Criminal Justice, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, EMRO

"Excellent archive documentary examines local factors, and U.S. complicity, that turned Brazil into a military dictatorship...Gripping documentary." — Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

"U.S. meddling in South American politics is starkly uncovered in The Day That Lasted 21 Years...An eye-opening documentary whose merits deserve fest and ancillary support." — Jay Weissberg, Variety

"A fascinating delve into American governmental and CIA plans to disrupt the democratic leaders of Brazil, which eventually would lead to the 1964 coup d'état, The Day That Lasted 21 Years (O dia que durou 21 anos) offers a gripping insight into political machinations." — Mark Adams, Screen Daily

Main credits

Tavares, Camilo (film director)
Vicente, Dino (film producer)
Momor, Chantal (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, André Macedo [and 3 others]; editing, César Tuma, Veronica Saenz.

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São Paulo Association of Art Critics Brazil - Best Documentary
Arizona International Film Festival - Special Jury Award
St. Tropez International Film Festival - Best Foreign Documentary
Long Island Film Festival - Special Jury Award

DIRECTOR: Camilo Tavares

NATIONALITY: Brazil, United States

YEAR: 2012

GENRE: Documentary

LANGUAGE: Portuguese

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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